athleticsstudents One of the many aspects students value about their Barnard experience is the opportunity to compete in NCAA Division I Athletics through the Columbia/Barnard Athletic Consortium. Barnard is the only college for women—and one of only a few liberal arts colleges in the country—to offer Division I athletics.
The interviews below are the next installment in our 2018-19 scholar-athlete series. Barnard women have an excellent showing on this year’s women’s rowing team, and three Barnard students are on the heavyweight rowing team.
Elizabeth Neuhauser ’22 hails from Minneapolis and is a coxswain on the heavyweight rowing team.
What does being a college athlete mean to you?
I walked onto the heavyweight rowing team as a former rower with relatively little experience in the role of coxswain. Having the responsibility of being on a Division I team in a new role was pretty intimidating. Being a coxswain means I have a lot on my mind. Not only am I constantly pushing myself to be better, but I am also trying to push the whole boat to do its best, all while being responsible for the safety of my boat. As this semester has progressed, I have become much more comfortable in this capacity, and I dare say I’ve improved. Although I still have quite a bit of room to grow, my coaches’ and teammates’ support and feedback have already helped me feel more comfortable in the coxswain’s seat. These men and women are some of the kindest, weirdest, funniest people I have ever met, and they do an incredible job finding a healthy balance between having fun and making sure every minute of practice is the best they can make it.
How has being an athlete informed your college experience so far?
I was homesick this fall, but I soon realized that practice was one of the best ways to clear my head. When I’m in a boat, I am focused on doing my best as a coxswain and fulfilling my responsibilities as a teammate and part of the boat. This almost-meditative aspect of being on a rowing team helped me a great deal in the transition to college and helped me appreciate being an athlete from a new perspective.
When you are not competing or studying, what do you like to do? Have you explored NYC? Any favorite places or activities in the area?
I enjoy knitting and getting outdoors, in green spaces both near and far. I particularly enjoy going on walks and using that time to be present in the moment and appreciate where I am. Sometimes I’ll walk around the Barnard and Columbia campuses, but I also love walking in Riverside and Morningside Parks. There are a lot of parks and lakes near where I grew up, so I appreciate having green spaces that are so convenient! As a first-year student, I still feel like I’m settling in, so I’ve been spending a lot of time with friends on campus, getting used to my new home. In the months to come, I plan to